McKenna Cook and her traveling experiences

There are many ways in which attending Indian Valley Academy changed my life. I was able to express myself as an individual and feel comfortable doing so and  I was able to develop my talents as well as strengthen my weaknesses. Indian Valley Academy allowed me to do this by the way my teachers strived to connect with each individual, the way I was given a voice and supported in my ideas, and also through the rare, life changing experiences I was able to have.


One of these experiences that has had the most profound impact on me was when I was able to go out of the country to Haiti and the Philippines. In Haiti, we worked with other schools and helped each other with problems we had surrounding education. In the Philippines, we facilitated a workshop helping over 150 Philippines to design and  start to build a youth center.


As I traveled out of the country, I traveled out of myself. I was able to break loose from the cultural, sheltered way of thinking I previously had. I saw poverty, true poverty people who have nothing but a smile upon their face. The people in these two countries changed me. My life motto also changed. I used to think about life as events where the glass is half full or half empty. After traveling out of the country, I now believe that if you have anything in your glass, or even have a glass to fill at all, you have something to not only be grateful for, but you have the responsibility to find joy in the simple things in life and to do the best you can with what you’re given.

Susan Weber